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The Breach

Zealousgirl’s EARLY EDITION

~ “Trip-centric” Enterprise SPOILERS ~

The Breach

Production 046
First Air Date: April 22, 2003 in Canada (April 23, 2003 in US on UPN)
Mission Date: unknown (although it is sometime after Jan 10, 2153 – this is what was listed for Horizon)

Director: Robert Duncan McNeill
Story By: Daniel McCarthy
Teleplay By: Chris Black & John Shiban

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Star Trek or Paramount. I do this for amusement and not for profit. Be forewarned that this will be seen through the biased eyes of a proud Tuckerite!!! (and, a Trip/T’poler!) I will try to focus on what is happening with Trip in these spoilers. I will only briefly talk about non-Trip scenes, so if you want more details check out Li’s Trekpulse review.

About ‘The Breach’: I really did not find this episode all that compelling (had a hard time motivating myself to even write this week's Early Edition). No Trip/T’pol scenes. The Trip/Malcolm scenes were kinda fun – Malcolm is more of a back up, his hunchman. Of course, both are even more gorgeous when they are grubby! I love Phlox, but felt that the episode fell a bit flat.

Synopsis (from StarTrek.com):

Enterprise is asked to evacuate a group of Denobulan geologists from a world that has been taken over by a militant faction, and since they are located deep underground, the effort requires some treacherous spelunking by the rescue team. Meanwhile Phlox faces a dilemma when another evacuee, an Antaran afflicted with a fatal dose of radiation, refuses to be treated by a Denobulan because of very old bad blood between the two races.


Phlox is feeding some of his pets, when Hoshi comes in. He goes to a small cage, and takes out a round fuzzy thing (I squealed at this: “Tribble!”) Hoshi asks him what it is and he tells her it’s a Tribble, and that all they really do is eat and breed. Hoshi watches him as he carries the cute little fur-ball across Sickbay, and then drops it into another cage, which vibrates violently. {{Phlox rocks}} Hoshi looks horrified, as the Tribble becomes something’s lunch. His response was to explain that without predators (ie reptiles on their home planet) that they would not be able to keep the Tribble population in check. Hoshi hands him a transmission from the Denobulan Science Academy and then leaves. Phlox reviews the transmission, a look of worry on his face.


~Ready room~

Phlox is sharing the information that he has been sent by Denobula. Apparently a group of geologists have been out of contact for 3 weeks, as they have been exploring the expansive caves on the planet of Xantoras – it is rich with a variety of rare minerals. The problem with this planet is that they have been in political turmoil, and recently a militant faction has taken over. They have demanded that all ‘off-worlders’ leave. Enterprise has been asked to pick up the scientists.

Archer comments that Travis has had some caving experience. Travis reviews the cave lay-outs and thinks it is possible to find them. Archer asks if Trip and Malcolm are alright with the plans.

Trip: “Don’t worry Captain. I’m sure Travis is a excellent teacher.” The 3 ‘musketeers’ head off.


Travis, Malcolm, and Trip (dressed in their away mission beige) are preparing for the trip to the planet. Travis is listing off a bunch of items as they check to make sure they have everything. When he comes to ‘waste disposal units’, Trip picks one up and looks at it, puzzled: “What is this for?”

Travis: “We take out everything that we bring in.”

Trip gives him one of his priceless looks of disgust, and then looks at Malcolm.

Archer arrives, to tell them that the Xantoran regional governor has just told him that he will only give them 3 days to get the scientists out of there, and that any stray off-worlders will be arrested after that deadline. Archer tells them that if they do not find the scientists in 1 ½ days that they are to turn around and come back.

Trip: “No arguments here.”


They intercept a transmission from a transport vessel leaving orbit that is in trouble (transporter casing has ruptured), but the planetary officials will not allow them to re-land, even though there is a radiation leak and many injured people. Archer allows them to come on board.


A slew of people are being brought in on stretchers, with a variety of injuries (some sort of radiation leak). Phlox is busy triaging but pauses when one of the patients (an alien who looks different than the other casualties) arrives. Swallowing hard, he then tells the ‘medics’ to place the patient to the scanner.


Our 3 heroes are standing outside the entrance to a cave, with Malcolm scanning for life signs. He tells them that all he is registering are 3 humans, and “one of which is not entirely convinced that we are going in the right direction”.

Trip: “Well, that makes two.”

Travis is convinced that this was the way that the scientists had entered. They start to walk into the dark cave, each with a light over their shoulders. Travis warns them to watch their step, as there are many loose rocks.

Trip: “The last cave I was in had hand rails, and a gift shop, and a snack bar.” (said nonchalantly)

They continue to explore, and come upon a ledge with a hole that you can’t see the bottom of. Travis is still convinced that this is how the Denobulans would have come, and starts to prepare for the climb down.

Trip: “Isn’t there a beginners’ cliff we can start on?”

Travis reassures them, and they all start to repel down the cliff.


Phlox is reporting to Archer about the condition of the patients. They talk about the Antaran (the alien that gave Phlox pause earlier). He then wakes up to ask where he is. Then he sees Phlox and asks what Phlox is doing there. Archer informs him that he is the doctor. The alien refuses to be treated by Phlox, going as far as to say: “I’d rather die than be treated by him”. Phlox looks on, trying to be indifferent.


~Corridor, outside Sickbay~

Phlox explains to Archer that the Denobulans and Antarans ( guess that’s what the alien is) have had a long and complicated history, although there has not had any conflict in over 300 years – ‘bad blood’. Archer tells him to treat the patient anyway. Phlox says that he will not treat without the patient’s consent, and that he does not even want Phlox in the room. Archer goes on about the Hippocratic Oath. Phlox responds that Hippocrates was not Denobulan. Archer then orders Phlox to treat the patient – Phlox states that he can not follow that order.

~Back in the cave~

They continue to repel down the cliff, with Travis urging them on. They come to a ledge, and decide to take a break. Travis goes on a little further, assessing the bottomless pit.

Malcolm finds a plastic container on the ledge. Trip picks it up, brushing dust off the lid, and commenting about how it looks Denobulan (has characters on it that he’s seen in Phlox’s medical textbooks).

Malcolm: “You don’t suppose Denobulans carry out everything they bring in?”

Trip gives him a look that says ‘Ehw’, and gingerly opens the container to find rock samples.


Archer tries to convince the Antaran to allow Phlox to operate him. The Antaran explains that the Denobulans had used devious tactics to win the previous conflicts – that Denobulans are evil. He admits that he is the first Antaran in 6 generations to even meet a Denobulan. He is reluctant to even try to get to know Phlox. Archer goes on about not making decisions based on preconceptions – the Antaran looks unconvinced.

~somewhere else in the ship~

Archer tries to convince Phlox to talk to the Antaran, to get to know him. And, then maybe he will allow Phlox to treat him. (blah, blah, blah)

~Back in the caves~

They are now is a more flat part of the cave and continue to search. They come to another ledge, which is very narrow, and very slippery. Malcolm notes that it is getting steeper, so Travis decides to place a piton attached to a safety rope (belay) into the rock face.

Unfortunately, Malcolm slips and starts to slid down the incline. As they are all attached to the same rope, they all follow and the piton does not stay in place. They yell and scream as they slid down the ‘not so smooth’ slope. Then, both Malcolm and Trip falls off the edge. Fortunately, Travis is able to get a foot into a notch and is able to come to a stop.



Malcolm and Trip are dangling from the belay rope, while Travis braces himself on the ledge (in agony), trying to hold the rope. They are able to swing themselves over to a ledge, and Trip places a piton into the rock face just as Travis looses hold of the rope. (OMT to the rescue!!!)

Back up on the upper ledge with Travis, Trip scans his leg and tells him that it is broken. Travis asks for some pain killers and tries to convince them that he can go on.

Trip tells Travis that he isn’t going anywhere. Malcolm reinforces this by saying that he would just slow them down. (poor Travis is left behind again) Malcolm tries to make him feel better, by thanking him for getting them this far.

Trip: “You’ll be alright.”

Travis: “Respectfully sir, it’s not me that I’m worried about.”

Trip chuckles and they head off.


Phlox is scanning the Antaran, who wakes startled. He is quite rude to Phlox going on about what a ‘dedicated healer’ he must be. Phlox tries to be nice – but the Antaran continues to egg him on. Phlox finally gets emotional, and storms out of the Sickbay.


Phlox is sitting at a table when T’pol comes in and asks to sit down. He is initially snippy to her, but then asks her to join him. They discuss the Antaran’s refusal to be treated. Phlox says that he seems to be determined to die just to prove a point. Phlox can sort of understand why. He tells the story of when he was younger he was going to go on a trip to another planet, but his grandmother did not allow him to because Antarans had once, long ago, lived there so it was tainted. He did say that he went there years later with his children – he had vowed not to raise them as he had been raised.

Phlox then gets quite tearful. T’pol asks what is wrong, giving him a look of concern. He thanks her for her company, and leaves.


Malcolm and Trip are crawling through a narrow cave. They detect Denobulan biosigns about 50 metres away. They finally come into an open area to find the 3 Denobulans at work (2 males, 1 female). Trip introduces himself and Malcolm, and informs them that they are here to take them off the planet, because of the Xantoran ulitmatum.

The leader (Yolen) politely refuses to go, but Trip is persistent and explains that he has been ordered to take them out, and that they need to decide what gear that they need to bring with them.

Again, they refuse to go.

Trip (dirty and sweaty – SWOON) pinches the bridge of his nose, and gives Malcolm (also dirty and sweaty) a ‘what do we do now’ look.



Trip tells them that he is not leaving without them. Yolen remains firm in his refusal to leave. Malcolm backs up Trip by saying that the Denobulan Science Academy would hold Enterprise responsible if they come back alone.

They continue to refuse.

Trip: “You don’t get it. When the Xantorans get their hands on you, they’ll through you in prison. They may even execute you.”

They say that they are safer staying down there then. Especially since the political situations changes so frequently that they can wait it out.

Trip says that they can’t risk their lives for rocks, no matter how important their work is. Yolen seems insulted and goes on about the incredible find of ‘speleothems’, and other funny names rocks.

Trip tries to compromise (ie give them a few hours) but they ask for a few more weeks.

Trip: “Three weeks?!” He looks at Malcolm who sorta shrugs. He continues, in classic Trip style (exasperated and annoyed): “I’ve spent the last 2 days falling down cliffs, and getting stuck in lava tubes, all just to find you. I’ve got an injured man waiting for us. We have just enough time to get out of here, before we end up in front of an Xantoras firing squad. My orders are to bring you back, and I promise you that’s what I’m going to do.”

Yolen: “You can’t force us to leave.”

Trip: “Wanna bet? We didn’t risk our lives to hear you say, ‘thanks but no thanks’. (Malcolm saunters up behind him and stares down the Denobulan) So pack up whatever you need, ‘cause I swear I’ll tie you up and drag you out by your ankles if that’s how you want it.”

The Denobulans are slightly taken aback, but agree.


The Antaran tells Phlox that he prefers to spend his last days alone. Phlox says that according to his calculation that he has another 60 years of so. The Antaran is confused momentarily, and then realizes that Phlox is going to do the surgery without his permission. He becomes angry and again starts in on Phlox.

Phlox starts to explain about how he was raised to be afraid of Antarans. But he knew better once he was an adult, and that he taught his children differently. Most of his children grew up tolerate, except his son Mettus – whom he has not spoken to in years – a rift caused by their disagreement on the propaganda that has been spread about the Antarans. He tries again to convince the Antaran, to do the same - ie forget the propaganda and show other Antarans that not all Denobulans are evil.


Trip, Malcolm and the Denobulans are crawling through the small caves. Yolen is leading the way, when he stops to pick up one of those plastic containers containing more rock samples. Trip asks what’s wrong, and Yolen says nothing – he’s just picking up more rocks. Trip tells him to keep moving, and that they can’t carry more rock samples. Yolen says that these are important and took 6 weeks to extract.

Trip: “If you don’t start moving in the next 5 seconds, I’m gonna take my phase pistol and shoot you in the ass.” (A4T – add this one to your list of Trip’s swears!!!)

Yolen tries to convince him, but is interrupted.

Trip (as he is reaching into his pack): “One, two. . .”

His countdown is halted by rumbling of the rocks. They get out of the crawl space and are now at the cliff face. Trip suspects that the falling rocks and violent shaking is due to seismic activity.

Malcolm: “Feels like weapons fire to me. Pretty high yield by the sounds of it.”

Trip tells the Denobulan to put on their climbing gear. Apparently they don’t use it (Malcolm is impressed). After more rocks fall, they finally head up the cliff.


Archer is trying to convince the interim governor to stop firing in the vicinity of the caves, but he refuses. Apparently a rebel faction is in the area, and the military is trying to capture them. Archer has Enterprise target the military force, telling the Xantoran that he will fire on them if they don’t stop – it works.


They are nearly to the top, when the firing stops. Malcolm urges Trip to hurry up before it starts up again.


The Antaran, after much reflection, agrees to allow Phlox to operate on him.


They seem to have reached the top of the caves, and have hoisted Travis up to safety as well.


Hoshi tries to hail Trip. Archer is getting impatient so decides that he will take a shuttlepod down to the planet, despite T’pol informing him that the Xantorans are mobilizing their troops. As he is about to step on the turbolift, Trip contacts Enterprise.

Trip, now piloting the pod, reports that all are safe. T’pol notes that a vessel is approaching the pod. It shoots a warning shot. Archer asks if they need assistance.

Trip: “Stand by. I think that they’re just trying to give us a little kick in the pants.” And the pod gets safely away.


Archer visits Phlox and asks about the patient. Phlox informs him that he is doing well. Archer tries to find out how Phlox was able to convince the Antaran. Phlox says that that would go against doctor-patient confidentiality, so refuses.

~Outside the Launchbay~

Archer accompanies the Antaran, as he prepares to leave. The Antaran reflects on all that he has learned while being on Enterprise. Archer informs him that the 3 Denobulan geologists will also be on the transport ship, and that they are aware that he will also be on board. The Antaran wonders if that is OK, and Archer says that they are willing to try if he is.


Phlox dictates a letter to his son Mettus, in the hopes that he will be able to share his recent experiences, and how this has changed him – he hopes that maybe this could help Mettus change a bit as well.


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